CNBC.com's MacKenzie Sigalos brings you the day's top business news headlines. On today's show, CNBC.com's big-box retail reporter Melissa Repko breaks down earnings from Walmart and Home Depot, and how the delta Covid variant could be slowing consumer spending. Plus, Ark Invest's Cathie Wood calls out Michael Burry of 'The Big Short' after he bets against her innovation fund.
Retail sales drop worse-than-expected 1.1% in July as rising Covid fears hit consumers
Shoppers in the U.S. cut back their purchases in July even more than expected as worries over the delta variant of Covid-19 dampened activity and government stimulus dried up.
Retail sales for the month fell 1.1%, worse than the Dow Jones estimate of a 0.3% decline and below the upwardly revised 0.7% increase in June.
Excluding automobiles, sales declined 0.4%, according to Commerce Department figures released Tuesday.
Markets showed little initial reaction to the news, with futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average off more than 200 points and government bond yields lower across the board.
"Although retail sales fell in July, the outlook for consumer spending remains positive," said Gus Faucher, chief U.S. economist at PNC. "However, spending growth will shift from goods to services over the next couple of years, limiting growth in most categories of retail sales."
Cathie Wood says Michael Burry doesn’t understand innovation space after he bets against ARK fund
Cathie Wood called out Michael Burry on social media after "The Big Short" investor placed a bet against her flagship ARK Innovation exchange-traded fund.
"To his credit, Michael Burry made a great call based on fundamentals and recognized the calamity brewing in the housing/mortgage market. I do not believe that he understands the fundamentals that are creating explosive growth and investment opportunities in the innovation space," Wood tweeted on Tuesday morning
On Monday, regulatory filings spotted by CNBC Pro showed Burry bet against Woods' ARK Innovation ETF using options. Burry's Scion Asset Management bought 2,355 put contracts against the red-hot tech ETF during the second quarter and held them through the end of the period. Investors profit from puts when the underlying securities fall in prices. It's not clear whether Burry's position is profitable or whether he still holds the short bet.
Burry was one of the first investors to call and profit from the subprime mortgage crisis. He was depicted in Michael Lewis' book "The Big Short" and the subsequent Oscar-winning movie of the same name.
Flights resume from Kabul airport as people scramble to leave Afghanistan
Evacuation flights resumed from Kabul's international airport Tuesday after a frenzied and panic-filled day that saw thousands of Afghans swarm the tarmac, including some who fell off departing planes in desperate attempts to get out of Afghanistan.
Images from Hamid Karzai International shared on social media and news outlets stunned the world, as evacuation flights took off with locals still clinging onto aircraft wheels.
The crowds, who were trying to flee the country a day after Kabul fell to the Taliban, have thinned out, reports say, though the ability to leave the country remains very limited for most Afghans, who face an uncertain future. Without passports or visas — which the majority of Afghans do not have — they cannot go anywhere.
The airport reopened early Tuesday local time, after U.S. forces closed it for several hours due to the chaotic security situation. Airport security and air traffic control have been taken over by the U.S. military, according to the Pentagon, in the absence of Afghan airport security authorities.
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